Now that most of the country is in isolation at home, do not let it all be about binging shows on Netflix©. If you are looking into buying a home after the isolation lets up or in the future, here is some preparation that you can do at home.
Part of the preparation is all the documentation that is necessary for a mortgage professional to qualify you for a loan and to get you pre-approved. This you can and should do in advance before you ever start looking at homes.
- Assemble all documents required to get a pre-approval
- Photo ID
- Two months current pay stubs
- Last two years’ W2s
- Complete copies of checking and savings statements for last three months
- Copies of statements for IRAs, 401k, savings, CDs, money market funds, etc.
- Employment history for last two years with addresses and contacts
- Proof of commissioned or bonus income
- Residency history for last two years with addresses and contacts
- Assets for down payment, closing costs, and reserves; must provide paper trail
- If self-employed, last two years tax returns, current profit and loss statement and balance sheet; copy of partnership/corporate tax returns for last two years if owning more than 25% of company
- FHA requires driver’s license and social security card
- VA requires original certificate of eligibility and DD214
- Other things may be required such as previous bankruptcy, divorce decree
- Get pre-approved and give yourself the confidence to shop
- Determining the right amount of money, you can borrow – decreases as interest rates rise
- Looking at “Right” homes – price, size, amenities, location
- Finding the best loan – rate, term, type
- Uncovering issues early like bad marks on your credit report – time to cure possible problems
- Creating bargaining power – price, terms, & timing
- Being able to close quicker – all verifications have been done
- If using a gift as a down payment, construct your gift letter
- The donor’s relationship to borrower
- State the dollar amount is a gift and not a loan
- State that no repayment is required
- Signed and dated by the donor and borrower
- Include all contact information
- Build your home buying team
- REALTOR® – I will coordinate the efforts of the other team members to make the transaction move smoothly, without unnecessary delays to close on time.
- Lender* … consider a trusted professional you can meet with face-to-face
- Title company* … guaranteeing the title and closing on time is important
- Inspector* … more than a flashlight and a clipboard
*I can recommend these professionals based on their experience and having worked with them in the purchase and sales of other homes. This will keep you from getting hooked-up with someone that may not be familiar with the type of home, area, or loans that you might be considering.
Additional information about the buying process and things that you can be doing while you’re waiting to look at homes can be found in my Buyers Guide.
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